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Police Services - Emergency Management

Complaints & Commendations FAQ

A relationship of trust and confidence between members of the UC Merced Police department and the community is essential for us to effectively serve our community. Law enforcement officers must be free to serve our community in a reasonable, lawful and impartial manner, without fear of reprisal. Likewise, officers have a special obligation to respect the rights of all persons regardless of background.

The UC Merced Police department acknowledges its responsibility to establish a system of complaint and disciplinary procedures which not only subject the officer to corrective action when he/she conducts himself/herself improperly, but also will protect him/her from unwarranted criticism when he/she discharges his/her duties properly.

To this end, the UC Merced Police department welcomes from members of the community constructive criticism of the department and complaints against its members or procedures.

We also appreciate and welcome commendations and other comments from members of the public. To ensure excellent service is recognized and modeled, it is important for us to hear about our community's experiences.

How do I make a complaint?
Each complaint is initially reviewed and assigned by the Chief of Police or his/her designee to be completely and thoroughly investigated by a UCMPD supervisor.

  • Submission by writing: A written complaint will be accepted regardless of the written format. It can be submitted in person or via mail at 5200 N. Lake Road Merced, CA 95343. Please mark it Attn: UC Merced Police Department. A complaint can be faxed to: (209) 228-7866
  • Submission by email/online: Complaints may be received through the UC Merced Police website, other department online media and through individual police employee emails.
  • Submission in person: Complaints can be initially received by any UC Merced Police employee orally, in writing, or via a complaint form. A supervisor will be contacted as soon as possible.
  • Submission by telephone: Complaints can be initially received by our dispatch center at (209) 228-2677 or to a supervisor’s work cell phone directly. You will be contacted by a Supervisor via telephone as soon as possible.

A written complaint form can be completed in conjunction or in lieu of any of the complaint processes above. If completed, a copy will be provided to the complainant

Regardless of the complaint submission method, the Chief of Police or his/her designee will provide a written/email acknowledgment of a complaint within 7-10 business days.


Are there restrictions on making a complaint? A complaint should be made as soon after the incident as practical. Complaints need to have enough details for a review/investigation to be conducted.

Will action be taken against the officer?
If an officer’s actions have violated departmental rules or regulations, or other policies or laws, appropriate action will be taken.

Will I be told the result of the complaint?

The complainant will receive a written response from the Chief of Police or his/her designee to include the outcome of the complaint. The outcome will be either Unfounded, Exonerated, Not Sustained, or Sustained.

  • Unfounded: When the investigation discloses that the alleged act(s) did not occur or did not involve Department personnel. Complaints which are determined to be frivolous will fall within the classification of unfounded.
  • Exonerated: When the investigation discloses that the alleged act occurred, but that the act was justified, lawful and/or proper.
  • Not Sustained: When the investigation discloses that there is insufficient evidence to sustain the complaint or fully exonerate the employee.
  • Sustained: When the investigation discloses sufficient evidence to establish that the act occurred and that it constituted misconduct.

Will I be told the result of the complaint?

Listed below are the complaints received from the public and their dispositions for the last three years.